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Old Town Lucerne
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Visiting Old Town Lucerne

4.5 (100%) 250 votes

Lucerne's old town boulevard lies between city hall and Chapel Bridge along the river Reuss. Numerous restaurants invite visitors to sit at nicely arranged tables. Guests from all over the world stroll along the river and enjoy the 'see and be seen'.

A Wonderful Day At Old Town Lucrene

A Wonderful Day At Old Town Lucrene

1. Chapel Bridge

1. Chapel Bridge

Chapel Bridge's ceiling is partially lined with 17th century paintings illustrating the history of Luzern. Chapel Bridge (Kapellbrucke) is Lucerne's number one tourist attraction, an incredible piece of workmanship. Built in 1333 as a defensive structure it's 204m long (670 ft). Unfortunately many of the magnificent paintings were destroyed in a fire in 1993. Chapel Bridge is free to enter and offers such great panoramas at different times of day that it's worth returning there from time to time. Chapel Bridge is not to be missed in your Old Town Lucerne tour. A little further downriver is another interesting old bridge, the Spreuer or Mill Bridge. Constructed in 1408, it also features medieval paintings but on the morbid subject of the Great Plague and titled 'The Dance of Death'. You shouldn't miss Chapel Bridge as one of the things to do at Old Town Lucerne.

2. The City Wall

2. The City Wall

The City Wall is not to be missed in your Old Town Lucerne tour. It is on the hill overlooking Lucerne, not more than a few hundred metres remaining, along with eight watch towers, but the views are good and it's a pleasant stroll there, up through the old town. Part of the city walls - built in 1386 - remains almost totally intact and three of the towers (Schirmer, Zyt and Männli) remain open to the public. The oldest clock in the city dates from 1535 designed by Hans Luter is housed in the Zyt tower. Take a walk along the city walks and climb the towers for fantastic views over the old town and lake. You shouldn't miss The City Wall as one of the things to do at Old Town Lucerne.

3. Lake Luzern

3. Lake Luzern

Encircled by popular excursion mountains, Lake Luzern is the lake with the greatest scenic variety in the country. It is somewhat reminiscent of a fjord landscape, yet remains characterised by a mild lake climate.Lake Luzern borders on the three original Swiss cantons of Uri, Schwyz, and Unterwalden (which today is divided into the cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden), as well as the canton of Lucerne, thus the name Vierwaldstättersee (lit.: Lake of the Four Forested Settlements). Many of the oldest communities of Switzerland are along the shore, including Küssnacht, Weggis, Vitznau, Gersau, Brunnen, Altdorf, Buochs, and Treib. Lake Luzern is not to be missed in your Old Town Lucerne tour. The entire lake has a total area of 114 km² (44 sq mi) at an elevation of 434 m (1,424 ft), and a maximum depth of 214 m (702 ft). It is a popular tourist destination, both for native Swiss and foreigners, and there are many hotels and resorts along the shores. For those who love fishing, the lake offers the best catfish, bass and yellow fish in the region. You shouldn't miss Lake Luzern as one of the things to do at Old Town Lucerne.

4. St Leodegar church

4. St Leodegar church

The Church of St. Leodegar is not to be missed in your Old Town Lucerne tour. It is the most important church and a landmark in the city of Lucerne. It was built in parts from 1633 to 1639 on the foundation of the Roman basilica which had burnt in 1633. This church was one of the few built north of the Alps during the Thirty Years War and one of the largest and art history rich churches of the German late renaissance period. In 1874 the parish church of St. Leodegar was founded and with that the church became simultaneously a monastery church and parish church, as it is today. You shouldn't miss St Leodegar church as one of the things to do at Old Town Lucerne.

5. Glacier Garden (Gletschergarten)

5. Glacier Garden (Gletschergarten)

At the heart of Switzerland is Lucerne, and in the heart of Lucerne is the Glacier Garden. It is nature's own monument to history and an oasis of peace from busy Lucerne life. Potholes of impressive proportions bear witness to the last ice age and to the fact that Lucerne was once covered by glaciers. Conversely, fossilised mussels and palm leaves found in local rock strata indicate that some 20 million years ago, the area of Lucerne was a subtropical beach. This museum was built around a natural glacial pothole from the Ice Age. It's small but displays interesting worldwide Ice Age pictures, models, video, information and artifacts, as well as historic artifacts from Luzern town's history and child-friendly exhibits such as a clever mirror maze. Glacier Garden is not to be missed in your Old Town Lucerne tour. There are some highlights at Glacier Garden, such as Natural monument, Observation tower, Park, The museum, Mirror Maze, and The famous Lion Monument. You shouldn't miss Glacier Garden as one of the things to do at Old Town Lucerne.

6. The Dying Lion of Lucerne

6. The Dying Lion of Lucerne

the Lion Monument is one of the most iconic monuments in Switzerland. The Lion of Lucerne, a memorial to a company of Swiss Guards who were massacred in 1792 by French Revolutionaries. This sight is free to enter and just a ten minute walk from the center of town, is not to be missed in your Old Town Lucerne tour. The setting and sculpture are magnificent and very moving. Tour groups visit it endlessly so try to pick a time when they are less likely to be massacring individual tourists, such as early, late or lunchtime. You shouldn't miss The Dying Lion of Lucerne as one of the things to do at Old Town Lucerne.

Old Town Lucerne Tips and Tricks

How to Get Tickets?

There is no admission fee to do Old Town Lucerne tour. However, you need to pay for the transport to get around the river. You can also book an Old Town tour onilne for all the transport during your stay here. Bring enough cash during your stay for transport and food.

How To Get Around?

Lucerne's Old Town is compact and makes an easy, delightful walk, especially if you abandon the guide book at first and just wander. Other worthwhile sights outside the Old Town are just 10-20 minutes walk away too (such as the Swiss Transport Museum). City buses are frequent and efficient if the legs are not willing. Bicycles are available for rent at the central railway station, including electric bikes. Cycle lanes can be found on most minor roads though some car drivers are impatient with cyclists who don't really know what they're doing.

What Should I Wear?

There is no special dress code to visit the town. You can wear whatever you want to enjoy your Old Town Lucerne tour.

Old Town Lucerne Facts

Best Time to Visit

The best month to visit Lucerne is Septemberwith a daily average temperature of 14C (57F) and 9 rainy days. May offers wonderful spring flowers in the hills but daily average temperatures of 12. 5 C (55F) and 14 rainy days, while the three summer months are warm (15-18C) but have almost 2: 1 chance of rain. i. e. 13/14 days of rain per month. The driest months are September and October, the coldest are December to February.

Currency

Franc Swiss

Will I Need a Guide?

You don't need a guide to visit the town, you can find everything you need on this site.

How To Get There?

In the city we recommend public transport, even for car enthusiasts: it's safe, reliable and gets you everywhere within no time - without having to worry about traffic jams and parking slots. For getting around in Switzerland, trains are your best option. The train network is fast, reliable and extensive. Tickets are sold on vending machines (switch them to English on the first screen) and at the counters in Lucerne main train station. You can purchase single and return tickets. Children up to 5 travel for free, from 6 - 16 years they pay the half-fare. There are around 500 licenced taxis in Lucerne and in general they are clean, safe, reliable - and expensive. It's usually easy to get one, even in rush hours. The city sets the following maximum fees for taxis: initial fee 6Sfr, 3.80Sfr/km up to 20Sfr, 3.50Sfr/km above 20Sfr, waiting time 66Sfr per hour.

Additional Info

Bring camera if you want to take some pictures. The 'Golden Hour' for capturing the best photos of the city is morning and late afternoon. A fine time for great shots of the Chapel Bridge with its Water Tower including the Jesuit Church in the background is early in the morning to catch the day from the Seebrücke (the bridge leading away from the railway station toward Rathausquai, also called Schweizerhofquai). The city can be best captured from the highest point on the Musegg Wall in the morning. Do climb one of the Lucerne towers for even better views.